Playing sports is fun and a healthy way to unwind after a hectic day. Although all sports have a risk of injury, for the vast majority of people, the benefits of sports participation outweigh the risks. Generally, the more contact in a sport, the higher the risk of a traumatic injury. The most frequent Portland sports injuries include strains, sprains and stress fractures. Fortunately, various tips can keep you or your young athlete from experiencing sports-related injuries.
Plan and prepare
If you plan to start exercising regularly or want to join a new program, it is best to discuss your options with your primary care provider. Your doctor may conduct a physical exam to ensure you are fit and healthy enough to exercise or play sports. If you have a pre-existing injury or any condition that may worsen with physical activity, your provider will recommend treatment.
It is also important to take some time and learn the proper techniques required for your sport to reduce your risk of injuries. You can sign up for a class or work with a personal trainer to familiarize yourself with the techniques.
Set realistic goals
Setting goals and working hard to achieve them is vital in ensuring you are productive in every aspect of your life. However, our goals must be realistic, achievable, and sustainable, even in sports. For example, if your goal is to swim more laps or lift a certain amount of weight, set obtainable goals and gradually work to improve. Trying to achieve your goals in a few days can result in injuries since that often means straining your body. For instance, if you run short distances, competing in a long-distance race can result in injuries like sprains.
Take your time
Getting in shape or learning a new sport takes time; therefore, don’t push yourself too hard too fast. Give yourself enough time to increase training levels gradually; this way, your body gets time to adjust to stresses on muscles, bones, and joints.
You are less likely to strain a heated muscle, so you should warm up before physical activity. Before you start your exercise, you can do some light walking or jogging. Warming up afterward is also vital to help your muscles cool down slowly. Increasing your flexibility is also another way to prevent injuries. You can do this by stretching before and after a workout, but it is best to do so once your body is warm.
Listen to your body
No matter how much you enjoy sports, it is dangerous to play through pain. If your body is showing signs of stress, adjust your activities or take time to rest. Mild, short-lived muscle pain is normal, but the pain in your joints isn’t normal but is a sign that you should cut back. If you have joint pain, visit your doctor for a diagnosis to establish the cause and treatment to alleviate the pain. Playing through pain can worsen an injury and cause serious problems. You can easily avoid this by listening to your body and seeking medical help whenever you experience unusual symptoms.
To know your treatment options for sports injuries, consult your specialist at Sports Health Northwest, Inc.